House fires can be incredibly devastating, causing irreparable damage and risking the lives of yourself and your loved ones. In the UK there are approximately 37,000 house fires, and 200 fire-related deaths every year, and since you only have minutes to escape a house fire, prevention is always the better option.
Here are some things you can do in your home to protect your family and improve your chances of preventing a house fire:
- Make Sure Everyone Is Educated
It’s important that everyone in your household is aware of basic fire safety, especially if you’re responsible for younger children. Put rules into place such as never leaving the stove while you’re in the middle of cooking, and not leaving flammable objects like candles unattended.
If anyone in the family uses heating devices such as hair straighteners, make sure that they have a heat-proof mat to leave them on which will offer better protection if they’re accidentally left on.
- Regularly Check Your Appliances
You should perform regular checks around your home to make sure that everything is working as it should be. Heating units and light fixtures should be cleaned properly, and make sure your stove and oven are free from any built-up grease and old food.
Electrical wiring can become frayed over time due to pests or improper use. If you notice any signs of an electrical fault in your appliances such as sparking, a strange smell or flickering, then call an electrician and do not use the appliance until it has been approved as safe to do so.
A good way to be assured that all your appliances are in good working order is to bring round an electrician to complete a safety check. Services like Electrical Safety Certificate in London will test and ensure the safety of any electrical appliance with a declaration that the installation is safe to use at the time it was put into service. If you’ve just purchased a new appliance, they can quickly put your mind at ease by providing you with an electrical safety certificate.
- Keep Flammable Items In Safe Places
Flammable items include lawn clippings, rubbing alcohol, aerosols, gasoline, cooking oils and nail polish, and are best kept in places away from extreme heat, pressure or open flames. If you have candles, make sure to keep them in a spacious area away from anything flammable, and monitor them at all times.
- Test Your Smoke Alarms
With a working smoke alarm you are 4 times more likely to survive a house fire, so it’s essential that you regularly test your smoke alarms. Aim to test your smoke alarm at lease once a month, and change the batteries twice a year. The alarm itself should be replaced every ten years.
- Exercise Caution When Smoking
According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking is one of the leading causes of house fires in America, so if you’re a smoker, you should make sure that you’re not putting yourself or others at risk. It’s safest to smoke outside, and you should always thoroughly extinguish your cigarette in an ash tray when you’re finished.